A clean and simple label. It sounds so simple, but anyone in the business of nutrition knows that ‘simplicity’ can present challenges that are complex. At Nellson, we help solve those challenges so you can please consumers with the clean label products they increasingly demand.
DEFINING CLEAN LABEL
Even the definition of clean label can present challenges, with different meanings across multiple segments. For some, clean label may simply mean a list of ingredients that are short, recognizable, or both. For others, the emphasis on clean label is centered purely around natural/non-artificial ingredients.
At Nellson, we understand that the definition of clean label varies among different consumer personas. For example, the clean label-seeking performance athlete may be more interested in the type of protein used, favoring a single-source protein over multiple sources construed as less favorable in quality. In contrast, consumers focused on overall health and wellness perceive clean label as products with recognizable ingredients and, organic, non-GMO, or all-natural claims. As a co-manufacturer for a variety of brands, we understand that clean label requires us to know your consumer and their perception. This, in turn, influences how we develop a product—from ingredient selection to front or back of pack claims, as well as the importance of certifications.
At Nellson, we also understand how ingredient names can affect consumer perception. For example, chicory root fiber may be seen as more natural and favorable than inulin, though it is the same ingredient. Names that sound ‘chemical’ can also have negative connotations. As a co-manufacturer, it is critical that we understand our customers’ brands and their consumers, so we can provide the best clean label possible for their market.
FORMULATING A CLEAN LABEL
Formulating for clean label nutritional bar and functional powder products can pose a common challenge for many developers: to create a product with the desired appearance, texture and taste, at a price that will appeal to consumers. Today’s consumers want clean and simple labels, but at the same time, they are brand loyalists who have come to expect a consistent experience from their favorite products.
THE FUTURE OF CLEAN LABEL
Wonder what clean label’s ‘next wave’? Overall health and wellness will continue to drive clean label’s continued popularity. We believe that how clean label is defined will continue to shift and evolve in the future. The market is sure to experience an increased number of great-tasting natural products that contain organic ingredients, as well as Non-GMO Project Verify-compliant products, as clean label products move from their former niche demographic to a mainstream one.